Five Books to Read if You Loved Ready Player One

In my last post, I mentioned that Ernest Cline’s followup to Ready Player One, which is aptly titled Ready Player Two, will be published in late November.

If you’re anxiously awaiting it, here are a few similar novels you should check out in the mean time!

Warcross by Marie Lu

From Goodreads: For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi

This one is quite similar to Ready Player One, and has a strong female main character. Opal is a seventeen-year-old coding genius trying to get over her dad’s mysterious disappearance. When WAVE, the world’s biggest virtual reality platform, announces a contest, Opal knows she must win. The prize is a chance to meet the company’s billionaire founder, who used to work with her dad and maybe had something to do with him going missing. With a compelling story that gives us a glimpse into a potential future for our society, Ahmadi explores both the positive and negative aspects of a technological driven world. I appreciated the political component, which it made it feel less like fantasy. There were funny parts and sad parts, the characters are well developed and relatable. 

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick

First published in 1968, this novel imagines a futuristic Earth that likely seemed far fetched then but is believable and relatable now! It’s a little reminiscent of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, there’s a bit of whimsy here, though much darker.  Our hero of sorts, Rick Deckard is the classic every man: beginning to question his own humanity, thanks to a job that he likes but requires him to do “bad” things, unsure about the state of his marriage, and desperate to own a real live animal, which have become status symbols.

Artemis by Andy Weir

 I love that Andy Weir wrote such a strong, intelligent, snarky female character. The novel wouldn’t have been as fun with a male protagonist! Jazz is a smuggler in the the lunar city of Artemis. Citizens pay her to get them items from Earth that aren’t permitted. Her skills are well known and she is offered an extremely risky and lucrative job she can’t pass up even though she probably should. Weir did an amazing job with the details of the lunar setting. It felt believable and as if I’m reading exactly what the future will be like. His writing is sharp and the scientific details are precise.

The Oracle Year by Charles Soule

Will Dando is a young musician who wakes up one morning with over a hundred prediction in his head. When they start coming true, he gets pretty freaked out. So then, he is burdened with this knowledge, and has to make decisions about what to do with it, and who he can trust.  This is less a sci-fi novel and more so a story about human nature, with some technology and science thrown in. I was hooked from the first page, and as the story unfolded, I began to root for Will more and more – even when I wasn’t sure what he was up to!


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